Monday, June 30, 2008

In honor of our country...

For Family Home Evening on Monday we went to a place called Memorial Grove. A Vietnam memorial on top of a hill with fabulous views of our city. Jeremy explained to the kids the meaning of the flag. The colors-red is for heartiness and valor, white-purity and innocence and blue-vigilance, perseverance and justice, stripes- thirteen colonies, and a star for each state. It was fun.


Jeremy also explained that we are living in the promised land. Her referenced the following scriptures: 1 Nephi 2:20, Ether 2:7-8. We are extremely blessed to live in a country where so many brave young men and women serve and are willing to give their lives to protect our freedoms and safety.

After our walk down the hill, thank goodness no one fell!, we went to ice cream. You know if we are celebrating an all American holiday we need to celebrate with an All-American food! It was a great evening. I especially enjoyed being up on the hill hearing the scriptures as the wind whirled around us. You can't be closer to Heavenly Father than when you are surrounded by His beauty, with the worldly stuff left at home.

Not that this is the reason for what happened, but there was a young man who rode his bike to the top. He was on a bench not to far from us writing or drawing in what looked like a journal. As Jeremy started talking he got up and moved behind the memorial rock which was right behind where we were sitting. When we were done and moved on to the flag pole, he got up and went back to his bench. I couldn't help but wonder if he was curious about us and wanted to hear what we were talking about. I know for some, you need to have several contacts with the gospel before you are willing to really hear it, so maybe listening to us was a little seed that was planted, or maybe a little water to help the seed that had already been planted. We will never know, and I can only hope.

Wednesday trips

We are trying to go on cheap field trips on Wednesdays this summer so last week we heard about this place The Junior Center for Arts and Science. So we headed out to Lake Merrit in Oakland. A friend and I met a friend who recently moved there for lunch at the nearby park. That was cool to hang out. The kids loved the geese, especially Logan.


video

You may need to watch again but here is what I wanted to point out notice how the geese are waddling and then start running then Logan runs by, he loved chasing the geese. At one point he ran pretty far but turned around, before I got the camera rolling.


Ther was lots of hand holding! I think Lauren made the first move but her buddy was no fool and took her up on the offer.

I have a picture of these three boys last summer jumping off the side of the pool. It is cool to get this trio as they grow!

The art and science center was more geared towards after school programs and summer camp so it wasn't really fun for us. We then walked to the Horticulture center and looked at all the flowers, gardens and smelled interesting scents in the scent garden. It was fun to be out and about with good friends, so it wasn't the most fun field trip, but now we have others to compare it to right?

Because it's my blog...

I can post a picture like this:



I guess Jeremy thought Lauren lives a sweet life. He took over her crib, her blanket and even tried sucking his thumb!

Note to self: Don't do things that you don't want as a blog topic.

On a separate note. My step-dad built the crib and props to him for building such a strong crib that can hold a 200ish lbs man!

Oh and for the record Jeremy really doesn't suck his thumb when he sleeps and he gave up his "gi-gi" a long time ago, plus it went in the trash!

Sleepy Heads

It all started in 2002 with this:




Yes she fell asleep mid-cracker!


The tradition continued:




And again:


So it was no surprise when I went to get Lauren for play group and I found her like this:


My cute little family and our fun little tradition! Rumor has it that it may a trait they learned from Jeremy. I will seek out evidence.

Lazy Dayz of summer

It is 9:30 in the morning and we are all in our pajamas being lazy. I love summer. I am sure you all have moments when you are glad a camera is handy. I had one this morning.

When I go the camera she smiled and laughed. She was very proud of her accomplishment!


On another note while Lauren was busy being a cute baby, Miranda is turning into quite the young lady. This is what she was doing:


I know this is innocent, but I have to remind myself not to freak out about the upcoming stages. I was talking about her having attitude with some friends (I think she is still a fabulous kid and very well behaved) and she looks at me and says "I do NOT have attitude!" with as much attitude as you could possibly muster. They grow so fast. It is all hard but it is all rewarding too!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A few Pictures

...from Contra Loma...
Miranda: Logan: Haylie: (yes she is in PINK!) Hannah: Lauren: It is awlays so much fun to go here. It wasn't too crowded and I love the fact that it is CLEAN and cheap. I can't say that too much. It was fun to see my little ones grow into fish. My own little witness of evolution.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A whole new world

We were out looking for a new TV since ours conveniently broke. Much to my satisfaction and my dear, sweet, amazing, and accommodating husband's dismay, they no longer sell the old tube style TVs, only the fabulous flat screen, LCD, Plasma or projection for the very big ones. So we went out and about to find information and prices you know the responsible stuff you do when you need to replace an appliance on a budget! We went to a second store and found good information (Thank you James at Fry's). I was on a time crunch and Jeremy wanted to go look at one more store. So we walked away from the TVs and Logan said "Aren't we gonna buy a TV?" I replied "No, we are just window shopping." To which he intelligently, a little confused but somewhat excited to buy something, responded "We're gonna buy a window?" It was pretty funny. I was glad a couple without children passed by us and had to stop and turn around. They thought it was equally funny. It was one of those moments where we were both grateful to have children. It really is cheap entertainment!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Gender

With this pregnancy from the beginning we were hoping for a boy. Of course we will be happy with who ever we meet in the delivery room. One of the things that worked for my friends is the Chinese Gender predictor charts. I think it mostly world for my kids but when we were planning this we found a chart that said it would be a boy in our time frame. Well upon further investigation the chart specified a 50/50 chance. THANKS! So in a moment of impatience and weakness I decided to look again today.
Picture 1:

Yes it says Female. Can you believe it? I didn't know how I was going to break the news that Jackson was going to Jackdaughter. So being ever so not satisfied with that I continued my search. And low and behold I came across this...

Picture 2:


I guess even the ancient Chinese were all about pleasing women especially when they are hormonally unbalanced. Lastly I would like to show you one last find and I am calling this one accurate:

Picture 3:


This one is may favorite because is asks for your exact birthday, which I didn't want you all to know to I hid it but it is really there. So I am thinking this is the most accurate. So looks like the ancient Chinese vote for Jackson!

Kids say...

the darndest things.

I was making cookies for Father's day for Jeremy, which was his dessert of choice. I have been a little lousy in the baking department as of late. So I was scooping up the dough and had the perfect amount of cookie dough all in their mostly perfect balls and Jeremy stole a ball of dough...he already took a scoop from the bowl. I kind of got mad since now my rows of cookie dough would be uneven. Does it really matter? No! It was for him and if he likes the dough then my job was well done.

So a little bit later Hannah comes into me with her hands on her hips brow furrowed and says "My Datty so wuuuude, he eat tootie dough!" A little confused at the second part I clarified "Daddy is rude because he ate your cookie dough." Her response "No betause he ate him tootie dough!" Ahhh, he is rude because he ate his own cookie dough. Yes that was it. It was very cute, I have been trying to teach her about being rude, like when she puts her hand over my mouth when I am "instructing" her, so I thought it was comical that she took my "teaching" and used it as a new word in her vocabulary. I love being a mom and all the surprises that come. And kids do say the darndest things!

More swimming stories...

Yesterday we went to this reservoir called Contra Loma. It used to be a beach with a floating dock that the big kids got to swim out to and jump off. Last time I went in high school it wasn't the cleanest place. Much to my happiness they created a pool that has a sandy beach for the kids to play in and it is very clean...except for one thing. I was standing around talking with a couple friends very carefully watching the kids of course, Logan swimming back and forth through my legs. Hannah close by wanting to be held. Haylie yelling at her friend Jared to "Come here! Follow ME!" like all appropriately boosy girls do, and Lauren sucking her very valuable little thumb floating in a tube. Then there is Miranda...she holds up what I thought was a black string or shoelace, you know like something you would use to hold up a swimsuit. This is what I get for choosing sun glasses over my seeing glasses. As I looked close I realized it looked like a braid. Interesting I thought. Then I stepped closer to notice the braid was coming undone. This innocent shoelace was someones hair extension, and my daughter's new found and quickly tossed away treasure. I am sure it is not gross but it seemed weird holding someones hair. Needless to say she tossed it away and we let it be someone else's treasure, who knows maybe the owner was able to reconnect with the lovely lock.

Oh and just to let you know I put all the kids happenings in one time period. While all these things did happen it just wasn't all at the same time or at lease not all at THIS same time. I just needed to clarify incase my friends called me a liar! It just made for a better story.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Splash!

Well the summer vacation started only a couple days ago and the kids have already been swimming twice. They all love the water and are feeling a little more free. Logan and Miranda swim with just water wings. They jump off the diving board and even go down slides. Haylie and Hannah are doing well too. We have a little ride in tube and both can kick themselves where ever they want to go. When one is in the tube the other has her own set of water wings. With the wings they are starting to feel good about being in the waer but they are still a little nervous. This is all just info and not the reason why I chose to create this post. Here is the reason. On Wednesday Miranda's classmate invited her to a last day of school pool party. We were all able to go. On the way there I started hearing little crazy reprimands of why on earth I am taking 5 little kids to a pool. It is near impossible to watch all of them in such a dangerous situation. So I decided to very firmly go over pool rules. So I asked the kids, what is the number one rule when near a pool? I was aiming for no running. Logan said "Don't go in the pool without asking." I was very impressed and thought that is the very best pool rule. I clarified that they had to ask only me, I was the one who needed to know so I can watch them closely. Then I went on to rule number two, again no running. Miranda pipes in and says "No drowning, and if we drown you won't jump in to save us." Again floored by the answer I clarified that no drowning is a very good rule but be sure I will jump in to save you. So then I just gave up with the guessing and told them no running and no going down the slide head first.

Logan and Miranda did extremely well and were almost instantly best friends with the water. While Haylie and Hannah couldn't go in the big pool since I didn't have my suit and I didn't bring anything for them to float with. They happily sat on the edge of the shallow end. A couple times they venteured to the deep end but I was on that. The only scary thing was that they kept throwing this big beach ball in the pool and leaning over to grab it. They only had to hear once before they were barred from being near the big pool. It was very sucessful and we had a great time. Lots of people just adored Lauren and held her so I really only had to watch for the four older ones.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

Today is the day we celebrate Father's, and I just realized I forgot to call the two men responsible for my upbringing. One who will always be there when and IF I call, and the other who came into my life as a teenager. He was the one who kept stability in my life and was a great example of what family should mean, not to mention he was the first consistent influence of religion. Both of my Dad's are very different and I love them both for being different. I know each of them love me too even though I don't keep in touch too well. So Happy Father's Day, I am thinking of you.

And for the next extremely important father in my life, my awesome husband. Who knew a father could be so much fun. He is a great example to me and has given my...OK our children such a great start from the beginning. He is a man who knew from a very young age he wanted to be a father. Nothing means more to him then spending time with his family and having fun with his kids. Especially because they think he is very funny. They love to laugh with him and he loves hearing their laughter. He enjoys knowing their friends and knowing what they are doing. He is a great example of Gospel living, our kids blow me away at their knowledge of Gospel principles, ie tithing, baptism, service...I am so grateful that he was relentless at tracking down my number. Two years of serving a mission and tracking down investigators gave him good experience!
Here is a picture MJ made for him at school:


This is what is said on the back:

Just in case you can't read it it says "My dads name is Jeremy. My dad is special because he married the hotest mama. I like going the A's game."

No I didn't have anything to do with this and am a little embarrassed that I have taken a little recognition on Father's Day. MJ makes me feel so good. Not only do I feel sometimes that I am not the best mother, I question the example I have given her. I guess the lack of confidence needs to go away, nothing makes me more proud than to hear that MJ wants to be a mom when she grows up, and she even said "I wish everyone could have a mom like mine!" I know MJ is a girl so of course her aspirations to be like me are pretty natural, but to give Jeremy equal credit Logan at age 5 says "Mom when I am a parent will you and Dad come over and play with my kids?" I almost was in tears to know that Jeremy is such a good Dad that Logan already thinks about being one. Our children are very lucky. Neither of us are perfect parents and we are constantly learning, making mistakes and learning from those too. But without a doubt our kids know how much we love them mistakes and all.
To all the Fathers out there Happy Father's Day. We wouldn't be here with out you! And to the Father of my children I love you and I wouldn't change a thing about you, you are unpredictable only sometimes and I love it! Thank you for loving me!
And FYI MJ and Logan are taking their Dad on a Date to the A's game. So I took her subtle hint as a great Father's day gift.

Father and Son(s)

Our ward has an annual trip labeled the father and Sons Overnighter. They had been going to a place called Dillon's Beach where they slept in a cow pasture, that's right a COW PASTURE! A few father's had nice child size foot prints on their pillow with cow manure as the medium! This year they switched it up a little and went to Lake Chabot. I think it was a major step up, although Jeremy missed the huge sand dunes and the tide pools of yester-year. Here are a couple of my favorite shots of their adventure:
This was taken at Digger's Diner their first stop! That night they had a campfire where they roasted marshmallows and celebrated the Restoration of the Priesthood
Logan just waking up after a short night's sleep. Jeremy made them both comfortable beds only to wake up to Logan not sleeping on his padding. Jeremy eventually commandeered the second mat that was not in use!
I love this picture taken early the next morning. What a cute duo! They took a walk around the lake. There are lots more pictures. The lighting was great and it looked really peaceful.
There is a story behind this picture...One of the things about Logan is that he is hugely drawn to video games. One of his favorite things is leaning uncomfortably close to Uncle Chris and watching him play his PSP. He can sit there for HOURS! Well another young man brought his PSP, so as soon as it came out Logan checked out got into his uncomfortably close position and forgot he was there to spend one-on-one time with his Dad without his truck load of sisters. So Jeremy said he needed to stop watching the video game, not only was it probably uncomfortable for the one playing but he was there with Dad who made the effort for them to be together. Logan didn't care for it too much so he went and pouted. I call this his own sacred grove experience. While not nearly as spiritual as Joseph Smith's experience it still is a beautiful picture and I am sure Logan learned a valuable lesson.

They had a really good time and both appreciated the male bonding. Logan and Jeremy are constantly surrounded by women folk. As if 5 in a household wasn't enough, Jeremy works with 25 people of which 23 are female! Although it was short trip us women folk missed our extremely handsome men!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

A Brrrr-thday party

Miranda went to a birthday party yesterday at an ice rink. The little girl is an amazing hostess. She made sure to go around and talk to everybody. A regular little social butterfly, she did it with such ease I think most grown-ups would be envious. She made scarves for every body and candy necklaces. Anyways it was fun watching Miranda learn to skate. she stayed really close to the edge but later got better and ventured to the middle.


Does your home say "I'm a Christian?"

I copied this tag from another blog (Janelle and April). In our book group we are reading 25 Mistakes LDS Parents Make and How to Avoid Them By Randal Wright. I love this book because it helps me to see a few mistakes I am on the road to making and I can correct or adjust my example/decisions/child-rearing to give my children the best foundation for their futures.

Ezra Taft Benson said-

“If someone accused you of being Christian would there be enough evidence in your home to convict you?” I don’t know who said that….. But, I do know who said this,

Enter their homes, and the pictures on the walls, the books on their shelves, the music in the air, their words and acts reveal them as Christians.”

My friend’s blog (janelles.wordpress.com) is doing a photo tag. Here are the criteria:

1.Please take a picture of the artwork in your home that would reveal you as a Christian and name it. What if we want that print too? We need the name of the artist?
The Lord is my Shephard by Simon Dewey
A Proclamation to the Family with the Oakland Temple right when you walk into our home.



2. Take a picture of your bookshelf.

3. What is playing or is ready to be played in your ipod/cd player?

Although I like music and really enjoy when it is on, I usually don't initiate it.



Jeremy must have been in a country mood, incase you can't read there is Garth Brooks In Pieces, Deanna Carter Did I Shave My Legs for This?, and My Turn on Earth Soundtrack

4. Do you have framed words in your house or words on your walls? Take a picture.

It is actually abumper sticker but Jer got it for me when he bought me some new maternity clothes last time. I love it because I know that is how he feels towards me...does that make sense?

5. Take a picture of your current project and describe it to us.

I am not really working on a long term project unless you count a bun in the oven. I am currently working on my craft item for our Stamp Club Shoe Box event. Each person creates an item, most likely a card, I always steer away from the cards these ladies are pretty talented so I don't want to compare. This year I am making a stamped frame. There it is!

6. Any further evidence you want to share - please do! What would a visitor ask you about if they entered your home?

I can't say anyone has ever asked me about anything in my home, but Jeremy had a neat, indirect experience. A co-worker was talking to a member of their credit union and Jeremy's family came up. His co-worker mentioned that he had 5 kids and one on the way. The man asked "Is he a religious man?" Although she didn't say it she wanted to respond "He has pictures of Jesus on his wall, they're close!"

I sometimes feel we have too many pictures but I am hoping our children will always have that reminder if they make a bad choice that when they walk into our living room, dining room, or even down the hall to their bedrooms, they will see a picture of Jesus. In one of the kids bedroom too.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Eight years ago Jeremy and I were hitched in the Oakland Temple. The blessings that followed have been innumerable. In only 8 years we have 5 gorgeous perfect, ingenious, energetic, loveable, intelligent, rambunctious with the ability to be reverent...fantastic children. We are expecting number 6, whose personality is a mystery but I am sure will also fit in the above category. We have lived in 5 locations. The fifth being a house that we were so lucky to have purchased. It is right down the street from the elementary school. We have been able to live in three wards, two of which merged so you can kind of call it two. Multiple callings, two kids in primary and two finishing up their last year in Nursery. Many trips to Disneyland, a couple to Ohio. Watching Jeremy graduate from CUNA School with High Honors, other fun family vacations, family fun time, 7 vehicles, lots of ice cream and other enjoyable edibles...I am sure I missed lots of good things but know that the last 8 years have been amazing. I wouldn't trade it for anything!







And just a little plug for my wise Heavenly Father...He picked out the perfect guy for me. He is the best father and husband. I don't think I could have dreamed him up. Don't get me wrong he isn't completely perfect but in my eyes he truly is, flaws and all! He completes me, I know it is a corny movie line but it is so true. He is my best friend, he can comfort me when I am too pig-headed to be comforted, he smiles and tells me how good my cooking is even though he would rather feed it to a dog he didn't like...well that has only happened twice, but boy what a trooper. He is the first one to feel my pain and the first one to wait until the perfect moment to pick me up and put me back together. He would give me the world if it would make me happy or at least try really hard. He loves to surprise me with little things like clothes, books, and movies. He plans incredible surprises like Wicked in LA, Ruth's Chris for our Anniversary and a over night trip to a quaint hotel, a massage trip. He lets me get a way with my girlfriends even though he would rather keep me by his side. He is always supporting me with my billions of groups I am involved in, book clubs, dinner groups, girls night out, stamp club...I really get to have a lot of fun while he works so hard to make it all possible. I love him with all my heart and I would be a mess with out him, but with him I can do anything, that I really want to do and he won't do for me of course.

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